Fillip 16: Berlin Launch, a special event for the sixteenth issue of Fillip magazine with contributing artist Olaf Nicolai, writer Patricia Reed, and Fillip Associate Editor Antonia Hirsch.
Colour is a major factor in a magazine’s “shelf appeal” and Fillip magazine, though a publication more aligned with academic journals, has more than a few times been advised to “go colour” in order to facilitate a larger sales volume.
Olaf Nicolai’s project for the new issue, Fillip 16, subverts this market pressure by causing the magazine to be printed in colour—yet this application of colour is undelineated and flows across the spectrum of the rainbow as well as across the page regardless of the printed content. The printing technique used to achieve this effect is called split fountain printing; with a history that stretches back to the inception of the art of printmaking, it gained renewed currency in the 1960s and ’70s as a method to introduce colour in printed material without having to go through the expensive four-plate colour process. With its evocative, quasi-psychedelic effect, the technique was particularly popular in a countercultural context.
Nicolai’s project for Fillip 16 represents another instance of the artist’s ongoing infatuation with print media in general through which he consistently mobilizes production techniques in order to articulate conceptual concerns. The printing technique used in 2500 × Fillip 16 causes each single copy of Fillip magazine’s sixteenth issue to become a unique original as no printed copy is exactly like the other.
Accordingly, the affective power of colour in relation to consumer behaviour is complicated by questions of value and circulation vis- à-vis the unique art object.
May 30, 2012, 7 pm